Polaris In-flight Experiences

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Old Apr 10, 18, 8:34 am   -   Wikipost
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Sleep-Enticing Amenities

In addition to the sleep-enticing United Polaris personal suites, several other amenities were designed with our customers' sleep in mind.

In a first-of-its-kind partnership, United has worked with leading luxury specialty store Saks Fifth Avenue for custom-designed bedding. All designed to provide the best sleep in the sky, the new bedding collection will feature plush duvets, lightweight day-blankets and a large and small pillow for each United Polaris customer. In addition, mattress cushions will be available upon request.

Slippers will be available on all flights, and customized United Polaris pajamas will be available by request on flights longer than 12 hours*. Flyers will also be able to request a gel-cooled pillow. New amenity kits will feature ergonomically designed eye shades, calming lavender pillow mist and additional products from Soho House & Co.'s Cowshed Spa.

With the introduction of United Polaris, the airline intends to donate tens of thousands of pillows, blankets and other inflight service items to Fisher House Foundation, which United and its employees have long supported.
*Flights with pajama service (for both directions)
SFO - ICN, PEK, PVG, HGH, XIV, TPE, AKL, HKG, CTU, SYD, TLV, SIN
EWR - NRT, PEK, DEL, BOM, HKG, PVG
ORD - NRT, PEK PVG, HKG
LAX - PVG, SYD, MEL, SIN
IAD - NRT, PEK
IAH - NRT, SYD
(from United Twitter feed https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CyjFHZLW...jpg&name=large

Trip reports with photos:
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trip-...l#post27799060
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Old Dec 9, 16, 8:27 am
  #331  
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
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Stepped off of 881 a couple of hours ago. Food service eh. The same food BIZ and 1st - Different menu printing different presentation. Got a bear, tried for second when relocated to 1st but FA tracked me down and shook it out of me . Oversold self loading cattle class bumped Silvers into BIZ and 1K's in 1st!!!! FA's had a go at me the entire flug. I was doing stand up comedy referencing the multiple and scary errors delaying the flug. On our second return to the gate (first one for load and balance)one looked at me and said with a smile, one word and I'll put you down there to keep things in line.
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Old Dec 9, 16, 9:03 am
  #332  
 
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Originally Posted by seenitall View Post
Generally, PDB "champagne" is sparkling wine of some sort -- not genuine Champagne from the Champagne district of France. That said, Joseph Perrier, the real stuff on the main menu, is one of the best small producers there is. I am amazed to see the UA is using it. They must be buying out almost all of this brand's production. JP's NV bottles generally cost about $40 at retail and are worth far more. Veuve can't hold a candle to it.
I'm totally OK with sparkling wine that isn't champagne, just as long as it's decent and not sweet. Several years ago (pre-merger), UA served Etoile as the PDF in F on from FRA-SFO. Heck, I'd be happy with that or other very good domestic bubblies as a C wine.
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Old Dec 9, 16, 9:14 am
  #333  
 
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Originally Posted by blahmeh14 View Post
Evidently, the going final sale price for Polaris bears on Ebay right now is between $75 and $130!
.
Ebay even has the early release bear for upcoming Basic Polaris fare

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Old Dec 9, 16, 9:36 am
  #334  
 
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Originally Posted by lowfareair View Post
Can you confirm the meal/drink service on CDG-IAD when you fly it? It's an 11:55a flight so not sure if it will be the wine flights and lunch or bloody mary carts and breakfast (or even the bloody mary cart and lunch!). The Polaris materials initially said all pre-noon departures get the former, but an 11:55a flight (i.e. ~1pm serving time) seems like a late breakfast.
I asked and there were no wine flights (or bloody mary carts - I have never seen one of those) on the west bound CDG-IAD flight, and they served lunch, not breakfast, but were happy to let me taste each of the reds before ordering anyway. No bears (this was on 12/8). The service seemed faster than the IAD-CDG I took on 12/2, but that is not as important to me for the CDG-IAD, as I tend to stay up that entire flight. Oh, and on both flights, the PDB and the champers during the flight were both the Joseph Perrier. My overall impression remains that Polaris is a material step up. And when IAD gets a Polaris lounge, that should make an even bigger difference.

I do wish UA had an arrivals lounge in Terminal 1 though. (And another small first world problem - the Star Alliance lounge in Terminal 1 does not have champagne. Is it not in France?)
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Old Dec 9, 16, 9:48 am
  #335  
 
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Was on 990 SFO-CDG. Echoing many of the other comments.....

Overall, a step up. Biggest for me is that the FAs (at least on my flight) were happy and more into their jobs because as one said "i'm was embarrassed to have been serving the same thing for 10 years"

Didn't have PDB myself, but seatmate did and they said it was "prosecco"

Service was a bit slow to start, extra service manager on board working with crew.

I liked the appetizer much more, wish the salad was bigger, but didn't mind having it served same time, and thought it was an upgrade. I don't like garlic bread, which was pre-plated with pretzel roll, but additional bread was offered.

Wines were big step up from UA normal. I wasn't planning on drinking much, but did have a few glasses given the improved quality. i didn't do the tasting, had the champagne - better than before - then the Pouilly-Fume which was decent. The dessert cart was nice, i tool a ittle pastry and a small glass of a moussey fruit thing.

I had the fruit cereal breakfast...the fruit bowl was much improved, and very welcome.

Nice thank you from ISD at the end, who handed out a small box with a chocolate in it. The little things matter.

Add the new seats, keep the crew into it, and UA is back in the game for US based airlines.

Was this change planned pre Oscar - or did he take it on?
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Old Dec 9, 16, 11:45 am
  #336  
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We flew AKL-SFO on 12/6. All I can say is, damn, I feel bad for the C crews. The amount of new gear they have to cram into galleys that haven't grown is staggering. In general, they did an amazing job, especially considering that they had to complete service 2 hours prior to landing due to reports of severe turbulence (which never materialized, natch). A few notables:
  • Only a few people seemed to request pajamas. I love them and will get great use out of them. I'm just pissed my partner didn't ask for a set.
  • The mattress pad situation was confusing, and we definitely don't need TWO pillows. On a flight with lots of rollaboards, this would make overhead space management a PiTA
  • The red wine selections were absolutely subpar. The Rhone was ok, but the "blend" was undrinkably fruity. The champagne and Pouilly fume were pretty good. I do like to see United supporting small producers, however.
  • Partner's AVML meal was exactly the same as ever, with the notable absence of any dessert at all. And because his allergy is dairy, nothing on the cart was suitable for him either. Boo.
  • I requested the duck noodle bowl instead of breakfast prior to landing, and that was handled graciously, even though I realize it caused an extra wrench in service. The purser brought me fruit and yogurt whilst he cooked the noodles. Nice.
  • We landed prior to 6am when customs opens, so had to sit at the gate for a few minutes. The pilots were good enough to turn off the seatbelt sign so people could at least stretch, since our final hour had been under seatbelt control.
  • There was one FA from Y who covered midflight service in C for a bit, and she was AWFUL. Barked at 3 or 4 different passengers for various "offenses." Such a different vibe when she was working.
  • Finally... The pilots and FAs both did their damned best not to do PA announcements. I feel like this is something UA is trying to get better about, and I really freaking appreciate it.
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Old Dec 9, 16, 1:54 pm
  #337  
 
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Originally Posted by Artpen100 View Post
I asked and there were no wine flights (or bloody mary carts - I have never seen one of those) on the west bound CDG-IAD flight, and they served lunch, not breakfast, but were happy to let me taste each of the reds before ordering anyway. No bears (this was on 12/8). The service seemed faster than the IAD-CDG I took on 12/2, but that is not as important to me for the CDG-IAD, as I tend to stay up that entire flight. Oh, and on both flights, the PDB and the champers during the flight were both the Joseph Perrier. My overall impression remains that Polaris is a material step up. And when IAD gets a Polaris lounge, that should make an even bigger difference.

I do wish UA had an arrivals lounge in Terminal 1 though. (And another small first world problem - the Star Alliance lounge in Terminal 1 does not have champagne. Is it not in France?)
Good to hear it will be lunch; thanks for the update!
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Old Dec 9, 16, 4:16 pm
  #338  
 
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Originally Posted by kirkwoodj View Post
Seems like they're gone from most accounts on FT, as well as my friends who flew today.
Flew LHR > IAH today, no fuzzy wuzzy, I got one on the IAH > LHR this past Sunday. I didn't want my kids to fight so I told them I'll just have to keep it HAHA!
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Old Dec 9, 16, 8:57 pm
  #339  
 
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On First Polaris flight - SFO - PVG 891 Dec 9

After having some great pre-Polaris flight crew service to LHR and SCL recently I was really looking the new Polaris business class. Let me preface by saying I am not one for the usual "United sucks" members here. I generally have good things to say about United and defend United to work colleagues who are very down on it. I am a 1k and have a great upgrade record as a 1k out of SFO but also do some paid BF flying.

Check in was crazy. On the Premier side there was one GS agent, one F/BF/1k agent and one Silver/Gold agent (which had the shortest line). Our 1k/F/BF line took about 20 minutes to get the counter. The economy side had shorter lines? What is the SFO station agent doing in managing the lines??

Unfortunately I have to now agree with other posters who have said that this whole Polaris rollout has apparently been done without proper training of the flight attendants. I've read all the posts about the flight attendants not letting people know that mattress pads gel pillows and pajamas are available. I agree that if you aren't going to be giving them out to all, at least put it in writing that those terms can be requested in the service menus the FAs hand out. This is a major service deficiency.

The flight started off differently in that on previous BF flights the Flight service manager usually personally greeted passengers. On this flight he didn't even introduce himself over the PA. I have no idea who is in charge of this crew. The beginning of the flight seemed totally chaotic even though our pushback was about 45 minutes delayed.

No truffle at with the pre departure beverage. I heard someone saying "can't find the chocolates". No big deal and a true first world issue but if you are going to feature it in advertisements make sure it's consistently offered
Or don't talk about it at all.

Food was fine and FA was perfunctorily pleasant but nothing better than most and actual much worse than other more friendly United FAs on recent flights.

The meal service has ended, the lights are out and they've closed up the galley. I went to ask if this flight was loded with pajamas so I could change and go to sleep and the FA says he's not sure what the service is and what seat am I in. It's been about one hour since lights out and they've disappeared and no one has come back to me. They just set out the mid-flight snacks.

There's only a few of us still awake. I didn't see anyone ask for a pad or a special pillow - mostly because if they haven't seen the ad campaign, they'd have no idea on this flight. For all I know they did ask and got the same "We are still learning the service" answer.

I don't know how United has trained its FAs on the new service but clearly either they training was inadequate or FAs didn't do the required studying. Was it in an email that no one read? A website video FAs were supposed to view online?
Clearly a big fail.

This is just in the line of how long it has taken FAs to learn that 1Ks get free BoB meals. How long did that take to filter down.

I will now tell all my friends and colleagues that the food is slightly better but the overall service level is no different and in fact. Probably worse since the FAs don't know or don't care what they are supposed to offer or even have as part of this Polaris.

It's crazy that frequent flyer elites know more details about what the airline is supposed to offer in BF than the actual FAs who are supposed to provide the service.

The overall concept of focusing on sleep is a good one and they've THOUGHT of good improvements but it's clear to me that whoever
is in charge of training FAs or ensuring compliance with sercoce standards needs to lose their job. . How can you do a rollout out of your major Pacific hub in a flight to China and have FAs who tell you they don't know what is supposed to be offered five days after the rollout.

Further whoever conceptualized advertising these great sleep aids but making passengers ask fo it is just plain idiotic.

I guess United thinks we are in a post truth world where what is promised really doesn't matter as long as you get press about it being offered.

So United you really blew this. My friends and colleagues next week will ask me so how much better it was and I'm going to tell them it was nothing special and in fact disappointing based on not DELIVERING what was promised. Not the way to improve business for your airline. While I like the new concern for improving service those in charge of executing it have really done a BAD job.

I guess United will have a chance to redeem themselves in the trip back but even if the return is flawless, once again United inconsistency will be the rule and not the exception.
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Old Dec 9, 16, 9:14 pm
  #340  
 
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So about to go to sleep and went to the bathroom in the rear of the BF section and asked again for the PJs since the FA I asked before never came back to me. The flight attendant in the back galley said "oh yes let me get you them". She then asked the male front galley flight attendant I first approached where they were stored. I overheard part of their short discussion and the male FA was saying "Yeah he already asked for them," sounding annoyed. But of course, he never responded to my request made over an hour ago. The back galley FA came back and explained they were never loaded and profusely apologized. I told her that's okay - he never responded and let me know this. She was nice enough. As for the male front galley FA - he's the kind of surly FA that gives United a bad reputation. Getting upset when he was the one who dropped the ball and never responded to a passenger service request??? That leaves a bad taste with a passenger.

Last edited by 94010flyer; Dec 9, 16 at 9:33 pm
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Old Dec 9, 16, 9:30 pm
  #341  
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Technically, it is in writing in the service menu that you can request the pillows, PJs, and pad. It's before the food options.
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Old Dec 9, 16, 9:37 pm
  #342  
 
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Originally Posted by exerda View Post
Technically, it is in writing in the service menu that you can request the pillows, PJs, and pad. It's before the food options.
You're right. My bad, just saw it.
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Old Dec 9, 16, 9:55 pm
  #343  
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Originally Posted by 94010flyer View Post
You're right. My bad, just saw it.
It's not prominent and could be communicated better, though. I couldn't find it the other day when I was sure I'd seen it in the service menu and had to look twice.
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Old Dec 10, 16, 12:04 am
  #344  
 
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I would be forever grateful if someone could bring home a pair of the L/XL pajamas and measure them. Maybe lie them flat and measure across the chest and waist?

I'm a plus-size gal and would hate to take a pair if they don't fit - even just someone saying they wear an XL unisex tshirt and the PJs fit or don't fit would help :P

Thanks

Last edited by Kryssa; Dec 10, 16 at 12:33 am
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Old Dec 10, 16, 1:49 am
  #345  
 
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Pvg-ord 12/10

Very senior tenured FA crew. Already hearing grumbling from them during boarding about how complicated things are and "silly new designs". I'm in 1K but sounds like they have someone on board who is helping them with "where stuff is" and "supposed to be" in the galley.
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